The simple answer is yes, yes, and, um … yes! While on the surface it may look like nothing much has changed in v5.1 of SQL Monitor, in reality we’ve completely overhauled the core engine to make it more scalable, stable, and smarter. The latest version is the culmination of all the minor releases the SQL Monitor team have been creating and continuously releasing since v5.0.
So what’s changed?
We’ve optimized SQL Monitor so you can monitor two to three times as many servers as you could before with a single installation. Instead of using SQL Monitor to performance-tune certain servers, you can now reliably monitor your entire SQL Server estate.
SQL Monitor now officially supports cross-network monitoring, meaning you can monitor your servers even if they’re in separate physical locations, including the cloud! We support both Amazon EC2 and Azure VMs. Click here to find out how.
If you’re not a huge company running squillions of servers, v5.1 has something for you too. You can now use SQL Server Express to host your SQL Monitor database, making SQL Monitor more cost-effective when you have a smaller number of servers.
Alerts are only useful if they give you timely and relevant information. They cease to be useful if you drown in a sea of alert emails. We’ve changed a lot of the default alert settings, so you aren’t overwhelmed as soon as you turn on monitoring (although your own custom configuration settings won’t be over-ridden). If one part of your system has a major problem, SQL Monitor will throttle back the alerts generated so you don’t miss something major from another part of the system. These settings can also be configured to match your environment.
An example of one of the changes is the Blocked process alerts. Instead of raising an alert for every blocked process, SQL Monitor now raises one alert for the process that is blocking all the others. In the example to the right you can see that one process is blocking 52 other processes. So now you get one alert rather than 52, letting you get quickly to the root cause of the problem.
The smarter alerting also means only truly critical alerts will be flagged up as high priority. So a “long running query” alert wouldn’t be high priority, but “Machine Unreachable” most definitely would. This change will give you a much better idea of what needs to be investigated, escalated, and fixed right now.
You will still need to customise the alerts to your specific system, but the inbuilt guidance will help you be informed rather than overwhelmed.
Saving and sharing reports
The Analysis reports and graphs within SQL Monitor provide an invaluable way of visualizing exactly what is or has happened with SQL Server at any one point in time. However, in v5.0 if you wanted to go back to that exact same report the next day, you would have to build it from scratch. V5.1 lets you to simply bookmark the URL.
So if your daily checks involve checking CPU Processor time against SQL Server Process time on your main production server, you can create the report by adding the appropriate metrics and then bookmark the URL. The next day you just have to open up the bookmark to jump straight to the report for the current day. Likewise, if you want to share an issue that happened last night with a colleague, you can send the URL to them and they will see the exact same report in the same time period you are looking at.
In short, v5.1 is a robust SQL server monitoring tool that can scale and adapt to your environment, providing you with smarter alerts that won’t overwhelm you. Ingeniously Simple, as someone once said.
If you’re already a licensed customer of SQL Monitor v5.0, you can download v5.1 for free.
If you aren’t a SQL Monitor customer, visit the SQL Monitor page where you can download a free 14-day trial, or contact a member of the SQL Monitor team who will be able to guide you through the process.
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